Safety & Security

Inspiring Messages Coming to Oklahoma State Conference

Those at the National Association for Pupil Transportation Summit last fall in Richmond, Virginia were wowed by speaker Scott Burrows, a quadrapeligic with an especially inspirational story of perseverance. Attendees at the Oklahoma Association for Pupil Transportation 41th Annual Summer Conference and Trade Show next month are in for a similar treat.

FMCSA State Inspection Program Would Include School Buses

About a month remains in a public comment period on a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposal to require states establish an annual inspection program for all commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) that carry passengers, including school buses.

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Roundup: Driver Hands in Keys After 19 Years, A Bus Crashes into Porch and More

For 19 years, Bill Pratt rose at 4:30 every morning and by 6:30 a.m., was picking up special education students from their homes and delivering them to Blount County Schools in a school bus. For 19 years, Bill Pratt completed his morning run by 8:30 a.m., and resumed again between 1:30 and 2 p.m., dropping off the last student at home around 4:30 in the evening. Pratt recently took the final child home and is hanging up his driving cap, retiring at age 84. “I just don’t have the energy anymore,” Pratt said. This is his second retirement, a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War, Pratt retired in August 1979 from his job at the uniform company UniFirst Corp. in Knoxville. After two months, he got stir crazy. “My wife said, ‘You’ve got to get out of here,’” Pratt said. He sought out and received training through Rocky Top School Buses and began driving the special education bus on routes that took him all over the county. “They’re kids that need to be loved,” Pratt said. “You can have a lot of fun just kidding with them.”

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Feds Highlight Protections for Transgendered Students

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and the Department of Justice are cautioning school districts, and as an extension student transporters, that they must adhere to Title IX rules that prohibit discrimination based on gender when students identify as a different sex from the one they were assigned at birth.

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REI Develops Powerful Stop-Arm PSA

Radio Engineering Industries (REI) believes that keeping children safe is critical and has developed a public service announcement to promote awareness of stop-arm safety.

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Roundup: Audit Finds that Districts Overpay for Transportation, Quintet in Bus Fires Investigated for Hate Crimes and More

Pennsylvania state auditor has discovered that school districts have spent millions more than they should on busing. Recent examinations by the state auditor discovered that 19 school districts in 11 counties paid a total of $54.8 million more for transportation during different periods between 2004 and 2014 than what the state determined was the maximum amount it would consider for reimbursements. Only one of those districts had competitively bid transportation services during the audit periods. To reverse this trend, the state auditor believes that school districts should be required to seek bids on such contracts. “I want to put more education dollars into our classrooms, not in our school buses,” the state auditor said. The examination found that one school district paid $5.7 million more than its maximum allowable transportation costs during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 years. This district, in a statement, claimed that, while it didn’t seek competitive bids for student transportation, it worked to get the best value for the service. The district also pointed out that it was impractical to compare its transportation costs to its reimbursement amount under the state formula because it was not a "one-size-fits-all" approach.

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